Why is gender important? Smart Design’s Femme Den explores the gap between assumptions and realities about women. To create products and experiences that women love, designers must better understand their lives, as well as their clients’ objectives and perspectives. Femme Den co-founder Erica Eden discusses methodologies to meet the needs of, and effectively communicate with, these interconnected groups.
Erica Eden is a senior industrial designer at Smart Design and a founding member of the Femme Den, a team of researchers, designers and engineers from Smart Design who are at the forefront of exploring design and gender. Eden has expertise in such diverse fields as home, health and packaged goods, but her favorite design challenge is to create an emotional connection through product design, especially in the kitchen. The first product she ever designed, while earning her master’s in industrial design from Pratt Institute, was an electric tea kettle that is easy to pour, especially for her grandmother with dexterity issues. Her work has been praised in a number of international design magazines. She also finds any excuse to travel and learn about diverse cultures, food and fashion around the world.